previous next
‘ [466] legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this ex-
Chap. LXX.} 1776. July 2-4.
ecrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished dye, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.’

These words expressed with precision what had happened in Virginia; she, as well as other colonies, had perseveringly attempted to repress the slavetrade; the king had perseveringly used his veto to protect it; the governor, clothed with the king's authority, had invited slaves to rise against their masters; but it could not be truly said that all the colonies had been always without blame, in regard to the commerce; or that in America it had been exclusively the guilt of the king of Great Britain; and therefore, the severe strictures on the use of the king's negative, so Jefferson wrote for the guidance of history, ‘were disapproved by some southern gentlemen, whose reflections were not yet matured to the full abhorrence of that traffic; and the offensive expressions were immediately yielded.’ Congress had already manifested its own sentiments by the absolute prohibition of the slave-trade; and that prohibition was then respected in every one of the thirteen states, including South Carolina and Georgia. This is the occasion, when the slave-trade was first branded as a piracy. Many statesmen, among them Edmund Pendleton, president of the Virginia convention, always regretted that the passage

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (1)
Georgia (Georgia, United States) (1)
England (United Kingdom) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Edmund Pendleton (1)
Thomas Jefferson (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1776 AD (1)
July 4th (1)
July 2nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: